The EntroPuzzler is a new (semi-) monthly contest in which you can win books in exchange for wasting your time. In the popular idiom of this site, it’s a coping mechanism, a diversionary tactic in our losing battle with forces of boredom, terror, and everyday life.
The EntroPuzzler is designed to be a slightly more Entropic version of the famed and sadly now defunct (deceased?) Car Talk Puzzler. Like its ancestor, the EntroPuzzler plans to ask challenging language-game-style questions and then randomly select a winner from the correct answers and give that winner a prize.
This puzzler is based on a popular time-killing game in which the end of one phrase must begin the next. In trying to figure out if this game has a standard name, I learned that it is known as ‘shiritori’ in Japanese but couldn’t find anything similarly definitive for English.
The rules for this puzzler are as follows:
-You use the end of one phrase as the beginning of another to get from the Starting Phrase to the Ending Phrase.
– You must use exactly 10 phrases between the Starting and Ending ones (12 total including the Starting and Ending).
– The game works according to sound, not spelling. For example, Doc Marten can lead into Martin Lawrence.
– Phrases must be widely recognizable (ie: not just the name of a favorite uncle or a random expression you made up today).
Here’s an example of a valid chain going from Major Tom to Wolf Blitzer: Major Tom / Tom Wolfe/ Wolf Blitzer. You can also use ending syllables to start new phrases. For example, you could say Barry Hannah / Hannah Arendt / Rent Control / Control Freak / Freak Flag / Flag Football / Ball State / Tatum O’Neal. The basic rule is that you have to be able to say the full phrase so each part bleeds into the next (Barry Hannah Arendt Control Freak Flag Football State Um O’Neal).
Your challenge is to get from David Foster Wallace to David Foster Wallace. This way you will make a loop that can repeat infinitely. Remember, you must use exactly 10 phrases in between DFW and DFW.
Please send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will select a winner at random. The winner will receive a book and a congratulatory surprise. I’ll announce the winner and publish all the correct answers along with next month’s puzzler installment. Please submit your answers before February.